I’m having a secret love affair with coconut oil. At first it started off as an innocent flirtation, a little here, a little there. It turned a little tawdry when I started using it as one of my main pan frying oils. I freaked out when it actually worked to make a flaky pie crust. I knew I had fallen deep when I substituted it for butter in my favorite chocolate chip recipe, and the cookies turned out beautifully, and my father in law tasted and said, “MMMMM! There must be a lot of butter in these!”. I may or may not use coconut oil as hand lotion. My love grows day by day as I find more uses for it. My most recent coconut oil celebration came when I found a highly reviewed recipe for gluten-free scones on the King Arthur Flour website and decided to give it a mini-makeover.
I know first-hand that it is difficult when trying to cook for people with various dietary needs. When the lactosally challenged and gluten-freegans are invited to the same brunch, menu planning is like a puzzle. Do we have enough things that are dairy free? Gluten-free? Are there things that we can make that everyone can eat? Sometimes I feel like Paris Hilton. So high maintenance.
When I came across this recipe on King Arthur Flour’s site, it matched all my requirements for a recipe. Straightforward ingredients, nothing weird or overly processed. I was intrigued by the idea that in the recipe’s footnotes, the author indicated that the recipe could be made dairy-free with a couple of substitutions.
When I decided to whip up a batch of these scones on a Saturday morning, I was thinking, Don’t fail me now, my tropical jar of love. I followed the recipe, substituting the coconut oil for butter, using almond milk instead of milk. When they emerged from the oven, looking and smelling in every way like proper scones, I fed them to my most honest recipe tester, who just happens to eat scones every chance he gets. His rating involved a full mouth, furrowed brows, an emphatically nodding head, and a garbled mmmmrahllygood. Mister approved.
These scones are not a half-hearted substitution for the real thing. They are the real thing. Moist on the inside, biscuity crisp on the outside. Dotted with cranberries. Adaptable as far as your imagination will take you, with citrus zest and aromatic spices. They are everything I would expect from a proper scone. Even if you’re not lactosally or glutonially challenged, you won’t miss the butter or the flour.
My secret love affair continues. Who knows where we will go next on our magical voyage?
Readers, have you jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon? Any favorite uses?
- 1¾ cups King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour (or other multi purpose gf flour mix)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ¾ cup dried cranberries, cherries, or other dried fruit
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup cold plain almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Grease a baking sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Add the coconut oil and work it in with your hands or a pastry cutter until crumbly. Stir in the dried fruit.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla until frothy. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until completely combined.
- Drop the dough by the ⅓ cupful onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow the scones to rest for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.